Spikes Asia 2019: The Man Responsible For Turning IPG Around

Spikes Asia 2019: The Man Responsible For Turning IPG Around
SHARE
THIS



Interpublic Group (IPG) chairman and CEO Michael Roth, made his first-ever onstage appearance in Singapore in a live interview with Campaign’s brand director Atifa Silk at the 2019 Spikes Festival of Creativity.

Roth, who joined IPG’s board in 2002 before taking on the leadership role three years later, is credited with the financial turnaround of one of the world’s largest advertising holding companies.

When Roth joined the IPG Board as an independent member he had no experience in advertising. He was a CPA Tax Attorney who was bought in to clean up the company when it was facing one of its darkest periods.

He joined as a member of the audit and finance committees and began to learn about the business. His job was to fix “material weaknesses” in IPG’s internal controls over financial accounting.

Three years later the Board asked him to step in and take on the leadership role. Roth says “that’s what happens when you talk a lot as a Board member and ask a lot of questions”.

He found the business model fascinating and started to rethink the manner in which the holding company operated. Roth says, “we did away with silos and got rid of over 50 companies that competed against each other for the same business and that didn’t make sense to me. It was about meeting the needs of our clients.”

Today things look decidedly different with IPG consistently outperforming its peers. Roth attributes the success of IPG on refocusing the holding company that was different from other holding companies who “focus on things that are not client-centric and not human-oriented”.

“We’ll continue to outperform,” Roth says. “The focus is on our clients, our talent, diversity and inclusion. We want to be the company our clients want to do business with and people want to work with. The only way to do this is to foster an entrepreneurial spirit within our business.”

Roth emphasised the company’s value of diversity and inclusion as a business imperative, even in the midst of an impending economic downturn.

“Commitment to inclusion is not only an important initiative but a competitive advantage over the rest of the industry,” he says.

“It’s not just because it’s the right thing to do. 57 per cent of our managers are female now, but if you look at our industry, it’s fairly pathetic in terms of representation of women. And then when you look at people of colour and Asians and different backgrounds. We just don’t represent the marketplace, as an industry.”

Roth went on to say, “this is a business of communication. How can you communicate with the consumer and do quality work and represent your clients in reaching those consumers if you don’t understand the consumer? And if you look at the marketplace, the consumer is diverse individuals.”

After showing a short video of Cannes Lions Grand Prix winning work for Ikea, that make the homeware brand’s furniture more accessible to those with disabilities, Roth added, “it’s not just the consumers that are using the product. Think about how people think about that company now. This work develops a relationship that can’t be broken. And in today’s world, when everybody is fighting commercial competition, and price competition, the only way you can compete with that is to develop the value of the brand.”

Roth finished off by mentioning IPG’s US$2.3 billion acquisition of Acxiom and what the purchase will do for the holding company. IPG has focused on using Acxiom’s data capabilities across its media agencies, integrated and trained teams on how to use the data and retooled some of its leadership positions across both Acxiom and its agencies.

“Two-thirds of the Axciom business is first-party data management. If you take that competency, and overlay the issues today with privacy, and couple that with our creative capabilities and media capabilities and PR and experience, all together, that’s the holy grail of our business. And we’re seeing positive results.”

Please login with linkedin to comment

ipg Spikes Asia 2019

Latest News

Spikes Asia Portraits
  • Marketing

Spikes Asia Appoints Jenny Lau As Events Director

Spikes Asia has announced the appointment of Jenny Lau as events director. Based in Singapore, Lau will take overall responsibility for Spikes Asia.  Lau (pictured) has worked within the Asia-Pacific advertising industry for more than 20 years and brings a deep understanding of the trends and issues affecting the regional advertising and marketing industry. Lau […]

ANZ Brands Top Pattern’s Best Practice Ranking Of Brands On Amazon.com.au
  • Media

ANZ Brands Top Pattern’s Best Practice Ranking Of Brands On Amazon.com.au

Global ecommerce and marketplace specialist Pattern has ranked a group of 50 brands selling on Amazon.com.au based on a set of best practice criteria it has developed. Pet brand Zenify topped the ranking in Pattern’s Amazon Australia Benchmarking Report, scoring 82 per cent of the possible marks against a set of criteria designed to measure […]

Fifth Dimension Expands Executive Leadership Team
  • Marketing

Fifth Dimension Expands Executive Leadership Team

Fifth Dimension Consulting has announced the expansion of its executive leadership team in response to the organisation’s significant growth over the last 18 months. Lyndall Spooner has moved from the position of managing director to the role of chief executive officer (CEO).  As CEO, she will lead Fifth Dimensions’ innovation arm, as well as the […]

GoDaddy Australia Launches GoDaddy Studios To Support Creative Content By Small Business
  • Marketing
  • Technology

GoDaddy Australia Launches GoDaddy Studios To Support Creative Content By Small Business

GoDaddy Inc. has today announced the Australian launch of GoDaddy Studio, a new content creation tool designed for small and medium businesses to create beautiful visual content for their business for all platforms. Compatible on both iOS and Android mobile apps and desktop, GoDaddy Studio includes thousands of customisable templates and easy-to-use tools, providing small […]

Seismic Announces New Zealand Partnerships To Empower Businesses And Workers
  • Technology

Seismic Announces New Zealand Partnerships To Empower Businesses And Workers

Seismic has announced an expanded New Zealand (NZ) presence to support the transformation of sales and marketing teams, and enable the nation’s employers to focus on upskilling their workforces to overcome a digital skills shortage. The company has also signed NZ-based specialist consultancies, Fresh Perspective Sales (FPS) and Jumping Fox Interactive, as its first two […]

Booktopia’s Alex Huntley On Partnering With SaaS Platform Freshworks And Tackling The Pandemic
  • Marketing

Booktopia’s Alex Huntley On Partnering With SaaS Platform Freshworks And Tackling The Pandemic

Alex Huntley, Booktopia’s head of customer experience, recently appeared at software company Freshworks’ recent digital CX summit RE:SOLVE. During the summit, Huntley shared his thoughts on future-proofing customer service architecture.Huntley sat down with B&T to discuss Booktopia’s partnership with Freshworks and how it has helped their platform develop. B&T: Why did Booktopia first decide to partner […]

Nestlé Oceania Adds The Edison Agency To Strategic Design Roster
  • Marketing

Nestlé Oceania Adds The Edison Agency To Strategic Design Roster

The Edison Agency has made four new appointments in its Sydney office to service the continued growth across key account The Arnott’s Group and the recent appointment to Nestlé Oceania’s strategic packaging design roster. Over the past 12 months, the culmination of strategic and creative work across the Uncle Toby’s brand and continued growth of […]

SCA Launches Smart Speaker Experience Tom & Olly’s Guide To Lockdown
  • Media

SCA Launches Smart Speaker Experience Tom & Olly’s Guide To Lockdown

SCA has announced a new smart speaker experience for the Hit Network, with Tom and Olly’s Guide to Lockdown. A voice-activated way to get inspiration and information on fun activities that can be done at home, the guide is curated to appeal to a wide audience. Smart speaker users will find a range of ideas […]